How to remove ghosted devices?

Jun 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Hello everyone, I am not entirely sure how to use this particular software based on the verbal instructions on this website, so are there any video tutorials or can anyone explain it in better terms? I rather not experiment with my drives.

Jul 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM


First ghostbuster does NOT delete any (driver) files from you system, it only uninstalls unused the devices you select so they are not longer cluttering your system startup. Even if you would be able to remove your primary hd (the windows device manager allows it btw) it will be picked up at the next reboot.

Second, do not mark anything for removal you feel not comfortable with or understand. So basically do not mark complex devices like hp's composite drivers for their multifunction printers (i did not have them so never tried it myself itf they re-install properly but as they are a pain to install my suggestion is to leave them unless you ditched the printer). Also stay away from system and non pnp devices and leave the the sound stuff (there are some tricky things there marked as driver that are not plug-and-play). Finally do not remove virtual pc intergation devices (or their vmware equivalent) as those are not PnP either.

Btw I already marked quite some devices as service (even if they are ghosted) in order to prevent accidental removal of those.

After these words, I would suggest to fire up ghostbuster and mark some of your ghosted usb flash drives for removal, remove them, see the results and insert them again (to see windows does indeed pick them up again) and refres the list of devices. Just play around with a single usb flash drive, insert it in a number of different usb ports of you computer and see how many ghosts you end up with.

I did not add a video as I do not know what devices you have plugged into your computer (so such tutorial would never match your system anyway). Just experiment a little as I suggested and always check the list of devcies to be removed before removing them.




Oct 10, 2012 at 5:45 AM

Hello again,

I understood ghostbuster when I finally saw the documentation... two days later. Yeah, I suck, but thank you nonetheless. Though, I do have a pressing concern; after using Ghostbuster to remove some drivers for a few times throughout a spread out time of less than a week, the device 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 suddenly showed up, and it had the status of a ghosted driver. It is titled under no category, manufacturer, etc. It just showed up randomly, floating above the rest. I cannot find such a device in my device manager, even when I click the option to show hidden devices. The only one time I saw other devices next to 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 was when I enabled ghosted printer devices from a hidden category of "Other Devices" in Device Manager. However, unlike those printers, 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 keeps showing up even after I remove it several times. Is this somehow connected to the rising usage of memory (private working set) from svchost.exe and chrome.exe, where the top processes of both executables once used over 200,000k each? I do not know as these problems have been going on for awhile, so I might be mixing up issues on when they occurred. Also, the search engines and help forums I have found do not help me. Thank you for your time and please help me.

Oct 10, 2012 at 5:04 PM
Edited Oct 10, 2012 at 6:11 PM


I'm aware of the null guid device but never found any usefull reference to it in the registry so assumed it was something like the root device. Removing it indeed fails (or at least it shows up again right away). I just stopped removing it.

That it's on top is caused by sorting/grouping the classes (and this device is class-less). At my machines it shows up every time and it does not seem to cause any problems if I leave it alone.

I never looked into memory usage and working sets so have no comments on your observation.

I'll look into it again and see if I have more luck this time (I'll single step the code).

I've single stepped the code and this zero guid device turns up halfway during enumerating the devices. The only zero guids that i could find in the registry are a containedId for volumes & volume snapshots and in some (hd)audio related inf files. See

Finally i found this comment about root of the PnP tree (for what it's worth):

The last section of also contains some remarks pointing in the direction of faulty devices that should be ignore.